Mountain Biking in Europe
3 May 2022
Europe's top family-friendly mountain biking trails
The sport of mountain biking can provide families with lots of excitement and the chance to visit some amazing locations all over the world.
There are so many trails to explore across Europe that offer something for riders of all ages and abilities. But which ones are worth the trip?
We've put together a list of our favourite trails across Europe for you to try next time you venture out.
Select the right colour trail
Did you know that all trails are colour graded to help you determine the best fit for you and your family. Here’s a quick guide to help:
Choose the country where mountain biking interests you:
Mountain biking is part of the long history of the mountains of Fort William and is fondly referred to as the Outdoor Capital of the UK. The UCI world cup has been hosted in Fort William for two decades and is well known for its downhill trail riding.
Nevis Range - All capabilitiesThe Nevis Range is renowned for its fast rocky track, which was created by locals in the Leanachan forest back in the early 1990s. It then quickly became the world cup downhill track.
Whilst it offers some rough, steep and technical tracks on rocky terrain, it also has some superb trails for beginners and intermediate riders, with many blue trails and a 9km family-friendly trail down Aonoch Mor to suit all abilities. The new Cats Eyes (Easy) and Blue Adder (moderate) trails of some of the best singletrack descents for those new to mountain biking.
It is a great way to enjoy the panoramic Scottish Highland views and can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Car parking | Uplift service | Toilets | Pump track | Skills area | Places to eat | Bike wash & hire
Find out more about the Nevis Range here >>
Bike Park Wales - All Capabilities
Image credit: Bike Park WalesBike Park Wales, located in the Welsh mountains is an ideal destination for riders of all abilities. It offers a diverse selection of all-weather mountain bike trails, all within a dedicated bike park. With over 40 trails to choose from including swooping berm runs, drop-offs, a pump track and a dedicated family loop there are lots to try out!
It is also home to the longest green and blue graded descents in the UK for the perfect opportunity for younger, less experienced riders to progress from beginner to intermediate.
And, there is no need to pedal to the top! There is a fleet of minibuses that transport riders 491m to the top of the mountain, Myndd Gethin. Riders are then spoiled for choice with a variety of world class descending trails back to the bottom.
Car parking | Uplift service | Toilets | Pump track | Places to eat | Bike wash & hire | Bike shop
Find out more about Bike Park Wales here >>
Swinley Forest Bike Hub - All Capabilities
Image credit: Swinley Bike HubSwinley Forest is a great park for beginners to advanced riders to try out with over 2,500 acres of forest to explore. There is over 24km of purpose-built long and winding trails, made from quarried material onsite which allows the trails to run brilliantly in all weather conditions.
There are 3 main free-to-ride routes on offer, green, blue and red singletrack trails making it an excellent trail centre for families. The 1km green trail is a great introduction to off-road cycling for novices and younger riders. The blue trail is a flowing loop around the forest, offering 10km of cycling fun! And the red trail provides 13km of varied terrain, berms, woodland and technical features that are most suited to proficient riders.
There is an independently run bike shop, Swinley Bike Hub in the heart of the forest, providing bike hire, coaching, clothing and bikes. They even host school cycling trips!
There are several locations to eat close by including the Lookout Cafe and local pubs.
MAP:View the Swinley Forest trail map here >>
Car parking | Uplift service | Toilets | Pump track | Places to eat | Bike wash & hire | Bike shop
Find out more about Swinley Forest Bike Park here >>
7Stanes- All Capabilities
Image credit: Forestry EnglandThis original and one of the busiest Scottish trail centres has so much to offer families and is a real mountain biking hub! It offers over 70km of man-made trails and many kilometres of natural trails, so it's a real catch for avid two-wheeled adventurers.
It’s suitable for all abilities too, with green, blue, red and black trail routes, ranging from easy to severe, you can select the ones that most suit your family. And there is even a dedicated skill and practice area and a freeride park with jumps, drops, wallrides and rock gardens for riders with a bit more experience.
At the foot of the trails, you can even find a camping ground and self-catering accommodation, so you can make a break of it.
MAP: View the 7Stanes Trail map here >>
Places to eat | Bike shop | Car parking | Toilets & showers | Uplift service
Find out more about Glentress 7 Stanes trail here >>
Blessingboure Trails - All capabilities
Image credit: Blessingbourne TrailsThis mountain bike park is part of a 500-acre site, rich with wildlife, woodland, a lake, streams and fields full of animals. The land is on the edge of Fermanagh Lakelands and has been in the Lowry family for more than 300 years.
Offering beginner and intermediate riders a great choice of blue and red trails designed by Architrail’s Phil Saxena - who also designed trails for the Beijing Olympics and the Downhill World Cup.
Blessingbourne also includes a pump track and skills area for those that want to hone their mountain biking skills. And, the crisscrossing track contains jumps, dips and berms for those more adventurous riders.
The estate offers the family many more activities too including a working farm, a museum and fishing in the private Lough Fadda. With onsite award-winning self-catering accommodation you really don’t need to travel far for all your family needs.
MAP: View the Blessingbourne Trails map here >>
Places to eat | Kids playground | Onsite accommodation | Pump track | Car parking | Toilets | Bike hire
Find out more about Blessingbourne Trails here >>
The GAP - Intermediate Riders
Image credit: The GAPThe Glencullen Adventure Park, also known as The GAP is a purpose-built mountain bike park located just on the outskirts of Dublin. The park doesn’t currently offer any green trails, so isn’t for the complete novice rider, but provides a diverse range of blue, red and black freshly cut trails, for all terrain bikes.
They offer a minibus uplift service equipped with custom made trailers to eliminate the climb so you can shred it back down one of the 20 trails. This includes 2 blue, 5 red, 5 black and a pro-line, tech track, dual slalom and a pedal-up track. They also offer a dedicated skills area. The tracks vary in length and difficulty, and feature different surface types with technical obstacles and 6 world class trails. Visitors can take their own bikes or rent them from The GAP.
Places to eat | Bike hire | Uplift Service | Bike shop | Accommodation nearby | Toilets
Find out more about The GAP here >>
THE FRENCH ALPS
Les Gets Bike Park - All capabilities
Image credit: Les Gets Bike ParkLes Gets is located between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc and is one of the largest bike parks in Europe which has been a pioneering destination for cycling since 1992. It now features over 128km of marked trails throughout the park. The bike park is internationally recognised as it has been home to the World MTB World Cup Finals in 2019, 2020, 2021 and will be again in 2022.
Suited to riders of all capabilities and with three different lifts open all summer, the park is constantly being developed to be a playground of the most diverse range of trails, offering green, blue, red, black and white checkerboard and 13 downhill tracks. It also offers a jump park with bridges, forest passages and wooden obstacles, 2x pump tracks and a dual slalom track. There is also a dedicated kids zone for the younger riders.
There are six different bike shops within the vicinity offering bike hire, onsite mechanics, wash stations and coaching.
Places to eat | Parking | Mechanic onsite | Wash stations | Coaching | 6 bike shops | Bike hire
Find out more about Les Gets Bike Park here >>
Morzine - All capabilities
The Morzine slopes are located in the Franco-Swiss region of the alps and offers great trails accessible from the town and extending across two mountains. One side takes you toward Avoriaz where riders have access to five graded downhill tracks and technical trails, and on the other side riders will find the legendary Pleney downhill course.
Open for mountain biking between June and September, Morzine has a variety of terrains and trails providing downhill, free-ride and cross-country riding, including green, blue, red and black trails, suitable for all levels of rider.
The two main lifts provide access to over 10 downhill trails and dozens of other trails across the Portes du Soleil area, from man-made fast flowy berms and jumps to steeper more adventurous rides. It is also a playground of natural terrain for riders to explore.
MAP: View the the Morzine trail map >>
Parking | Cable cars | Places to eat | Bike shops | Bike hire | Accommodation nearby
Find out more about Morzine Trails here >>
Chamonix - All capabilities
Chamonix is widely known for extreme sports and the same slopes that make Chamonix famous for skiing are unveiled as the snow melts to offer some world class mountain biking trails. Whilst mountain biking here is still in development compared to other summer resorts, Chamonix still provides over 20 exciting MTB picturesque routes spanning 16km for all levels of rider.
Novice and young riders can start out with many of the easier cross-country green trails and venture into blue trails that intersect and loop around to make circuits. Cable cars are open throughout part of the summer (much of the valley gives pedestrians priority in July and August) leading to the more advanced red and black trails. There are two dedicated bike parks too where riders can drop jumps, ride table tops and practise their handling skills.
There is lots of nearby accommodation and various local tour companies who offer bike hire and coaching and can be on hand to help out if needed.
MAP: View the the Chamonix trail map here >>
Parking | Places to eat | Lift service | Bike wash | Coaching
Find out more about Chamonix MTB Trails here >>
The Ruhrgebiet in the heart of the historic industrial area of Northrhine Westphalia in Germany is certainly not the first destination that comes to mind thinking about mountain biking in Germany. Nonetheless it has many trails to offer and Iit can be combined with cultural activities and visiting old industrial sites such as UNESCO World Heritage Site of Zeche Zollverein for an exciting and varied holiday with the whole family.
Haard - All capabilities
Image credit: Mein RuhrgebietThe trail through the Haard is a wonderful path for beginners as it is low in altitude and technically rather easy, it leads through the largest forest in the Ruhr area and is ideal for families.
With a total length of 40km the shamrock-like construction makes it relatively easy to shorten the round by skipping one or more loops. And, other wide forest paths offer the opportunity to adapt the tour planning to rider’s own needs. At the entry point in the far north there is a beautiful forest playground, ideal for a picnic break and play.
Numerous NRW championships, Germany cups and even the German university championships have taken place on some sections of this route in the past.
MAP: View the Haard map here >>
Parking | Playground | Picnic area | Accommodation nearby | Places to eat nearby
Find out more about the Haard trails >>
Schurenbach - All capabilities
The Brammen trail on the Schurenbacher Halde in the north of Essen is perfect for families. It's more demanding than the Haard, but children, in particular, find the continuous undulation great fun. The trails are much shorter than in the Haard, but you can ride them two or three times, learning the trail features and gaining confidence as you go. If the weather is good, why not combine your mountain bike adventure with a visit to the nearby children's playground in Nordsternpark. In midsummer, there is even a water playground.
MAP: View the full trail here >>
Facilities: Places to eat | Playgrounds | Car parking | Toilets
More info incl. Link to Komoot here >>
Albstadt Bike Park - All capabilities
Image credit: Albstadt Bike ParkLocated in woodland the Albstadt Bike Park provides the perfect challenge of 6 routes of all levels of difficulty. From flowy and fast berms, rollable jumps, an enduro trail, wooden ramps and narrow hairpin bends, there really is something for everyone.
Whilst some trails may look like they are for the more advanced rider, the bike park has created many opportunities for beginners to bypass obstacles and more challenging jumps, so that everyone can experience the thrill of riding the trails together.
There’s a bike shop onsite, a cafe and chillout area and they even offer a 3 hour beginners course for those wanting to master the downhill action with some tips, support and guidance.
Parking | Coaching | Bike shop | Bike hire | Places to eat
Find out more about Albstadt Bike Park >>
Oberwiesenthal - All capabilities
The spa town of Oberwiesenthal is the perfect starting point for a mountain bike trip with the whole family and offers numerous biking opportunities in the area. There is something for everyone and there's a variety of activities to enjoy off the bike too. Only 30 minutes away by car, you can also try monster scooters, the longest zipline in Europe, Fichtelbergbahn, adventure hiking trails, and more!
Image credit: kids aufs bike
The MTB area stretches across Germany and the Czech Republic and includes:
🚵 The Trail Center Rabenberg with almost 84 km of trails and bike routes, driving technique training, pump track
🚵 Trailpark Klinovec with 28.1 km of trails with lift access, pump track, skill center, downhill track
🚵 The Plešivec Trail Park with almost 10.4 km of trails with lift access, a hiking adventure trail, a climbing forest, and a fantastic, large play area. 🚵 The Stoneman Miriquidi stretches over 2 countries, 9 peaks, 4,400 meters in altitude ensuring an amazing mountain bike adventure in the deep forests of the Erzbebirge.
MAP: View the Trail highlights here >>
Facilities: Parking | Places to eat | Lift service | Coaching | Hiking | Playground
Find out more about the Ergebirge Region >>
Lillehammer has lots to offer families and is the ideal landscape for beginners and more advanced riders to explore the many mountainous and forest routes available.
Image credit: Hafjell Bike Park
Hafjell Bike Park - All capabilities
Hafjell Bike park is one of Norway’s best parks for cycling with over 29km of extensive trail network for beginners through to professional riders. It offers 17 well-built trails from green to black all accessible via the chairlift, with an elevation drop of 700 vertical meters.
There is also a 2,500 square meter pump track suitable for all ages and types of bikes. And if the little ones don’t have a bike you can loan one for free. If you don’t want to venture out on the downhill tracks there is an endless network of single track and gravel roads to explore.
Pump track | Free bike hire | Coaching | Accommodation | Places to eat | Uplift | Free parking
Find out more about Hafjell Bike Park >>
Looking for more cycling opportunities in Lillehammer?
Find out more about MTB trails in Lillehammer here >>
Åre Bike Park - All capabilities
Image credit: Åre SwedenÅre Bike Park is Scandinavia’s largest bike park, located in lush green woodland and next to a large lake, it offers 34 trails, to a height of 858 meters and 50km of singletrack biking opportunities. It really is a prime downhill riding location for all capabilities.
The park, host to Sweden’s biggest bike festival each year, provides a vast array of natural and purpose-built trails through barran mountain. From beginners to experts with 7 green trails, 8 blue, 9 red and 8 black, riders can spend the whole day lapping the park or heading out for a longer pedal.
Åre provides several ways to climb to the top, including a chair lift, gondola and cable car. You can even rent bikes and cycling gear from the local bike shop.
Parking | Uplift | Åre town nearby offers places to eat and accommodation
Find out more about Åre Bike Park >>
Järvsö Bike Park - All capabilities
Image credit: Järvsö Bike ParkJärvsö Bike Park, located in the middle of Sweden, will suit every type of rider. Located on a little mountain 370m above sea level, it offers 17 tracks for beginners to experts. Most of the tracks have been designed by Tom Pro, the founder of Canadian trail-building company Gravity Logic, so they really are quite something!
The park aims to make the most of the vertical meters, which include two beginner-friendly green trails and eight blue trails as well as three more advanced red and four black trails. There are two uplifts, purpose-built jumps, bridges, cliffs and other cycling obstacles throughout the park and they also have a dirt park and pump track too.
Parking | Uplift | Coaching | Pump track | Bike shop & hire | Places to eat | Toilets
Find out more about Järvsö Bike Park >> >>
As you can see there is a huge range of amazing mountain biking destinations across Europe, these are just a few of them. Cycling can open up a whole world of opportunities to explore, so get on your bike today and discover someplace new!
Take a look at some of our other blogs for inspiration:
Scottish mountain biking spots for families >>
The best UK family cycle routes by team Frog >>
Bikepacking with children >>